“Cognitive fusion” is the idea of attaching our thoughts or emotions to an experience. Engaging in cognitive fusion is an automatic, human process.
The opposite of this is “cognitive defusion.” This is the idea that we can be aware of our thoughts and emotions, and further, we can objectively exist with them. That is, we do not need to or have to attach ourselves to said thought or emotion. Cognitive defusion takes practice to master.
We even have the power to not take every thought or emotion seriously!
Cognitive defusion is a form of mindfulness because it prompts an individual to observe and differentiate feeling from fact, objective from subjective, and further, empowers us to choose what we are going to do with the thought and/or distressing emotion. I love and use this technique with client’s because it inspires hope and encourages the fact that thoughts and feelings do not have to control us! This article outlines user friendly ways to engage in cognitive defusion and beat the “bossy bully*” that is anxiety!
In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), as in CBT, there is an emphasis on becoming more aware of the thoughts as thoughts and not truths. However, the next step in ACT is to learn ways to be “less fused” with the thoughts (That is, if cognitive fusion is the baseline, cognitive defusion is the goal).
**Read the article, I promise this reference will make more sense!